Big thanks to runner slash floorballer Althea Wang for reviewing the COMPRESSPORT R2 calf sleeves, this is what she had to say:
Text and Pictures: Althea Wang
My very first foray into the compression garment world wasn’t quite the best experience I could’ve hoped for. After buying compression shorts from a particular (and very popular) brand I found them uncomfortable and switched them for quad sleeves instead. They weren’t terrible products, and while more satisfied with the quad sleeves I still found both products lacking in the comfort department, just in varying degrees.
Having discovered The Runner’s Gait (a brilliant find) I was introduced to Compressport and their R2 calf sleeves, which seemed to me almost a flagship product with all the buzz about it.
I run middle to long distances (but mostly long) and also play floorball, a hockey-like stop-and-go sport. As a member of 2 teams, I was training and playing up to 5 days a week, sometimes with an additional race during the weekend. My calves became a problem area; always heavy, tight, dotted with numerous tender spots. Massages and foam rolling helped but I sought for something that would aid my calves through a more active role.
So after finding several positive reviews of the R2, I bought them in boring ol’ black. I thought they looked pretty cool, like actual sleeves, different from the other garments I’ve seen that look like black bits of cloth ironed onto your legs. Also, if you can make a tight garment look good in white, you’re cool in my book.
Wearing them at home, I found them comfortable and subsequently wore them to sleep too and thought they felt like a hug around my calves.
The very next day, I wore them for one of my floorball games.
There isn’t all that much of a continuous effort here, but ‘go’ in stop-and-go may just well be another word for ‘sprint’ – big or maximum power each time. This makes a large amount of the effort anaerobic and lactic acid removal, one of the R2’s functions would come to play, in a big way.
While warming up, the R2 felt good around my calves. Not overly tight. They seemed to make my legs more ‘bouncy’ too, and to be holding my muscles in place. Then at the end of the game, I realised I hadn’t thought much of my calves at all during the course of the game. Little of that familiar burn in the legs had come into mind and neither was the progressive fatigue in my muscles as apparent as it usually is.
When I took them off, my calves felt well, just fine.
I’ve only had the R2 for a few days, but so far, so good. What I also appreciate about these sleeves is that Compressport have put thought into constructing them, from the substitution of lycra for better durability to easy maintenance. Wille had told me many R2 users simply wash them in the shower, and that’s what I did. I didn’t use any soap though but yet the sleeves seemed to emit some sort of a scent (yes, a good one) on their own. Also, being able to actually try them on before buying them was awesome.
There are 4 races and several games marked on my calendar till the end of the year and I look forward to wearing the R2 on for them, as well as for my other future races and games.
I’m actually already eyeing Compressport’s ForQuad, but that’ll have to wait for Christmas.